Dresden Plate

What do you think of when you heard the word dresden?

I have to be honest: I don’t immediately think of the quilt pattern. Thanks to my husband’s influence I have become a fan of The Dresden Files, a popular fantasy book series.

Don’t judge me.

You like fantasy, too. You just don’t know it.

Don’t think so? How about Chronicles of Narnia? Or The Lord of the Rings? Yeah. Those are the gateway books, friends.

Admittedly, I haven’t read a single Dresden book (there are currently 13 penned). I’ve seen them lying around the house but I just wasn’t ready to read a book whose back flap featured a man looking at me like this:

No offense, Jim Butcher. But you’ve got the “fist in chin” thing going on, the penetrating mind-reading stare, and, well, LARPer hair. I was skeptical: could this man really write about a dry-humored 30-something wizard taking down bad guys in current day Chicago?

But then I listened to some of the tales while riding in the car with my husband (and I even watched the TV show based on the books).

And yes, this man can write.

I’m guessing it’s because underneath the LARPer hair, there is a 30-something dry-humored man living in current day… Kansas? Anyway.

This was the photo that greeted me on the back flap of the latest Dresden Files book. I'm just glad he's not trying to look into my soul anymore.

And now when you think that this post can’t get any stranger, I’ll do a 180 and actually talk about the SEWING dresden. Cuz that was the whole point of this post, anyway.

I originally wanted to make a cool patch to use as the label on the back of Isabel’s quilt, like the pinwheel I did on Olivia’s. I wanted to go 30’s style so I chose dresden plate. I was going to do a black and white piece with a yellow center. As I searched for a good tutorial on piecing dresden plates I found one on the Sew Mama, Sew blog written by Oh, Frannson. Her plate was black and white. That of course meant that I had to use her tutorial.

Then I got the great idea to run a strip of dresdens a little off-center down the back of the quilt, making the quilt REVERSIBLE. Coolest mom ever, right? I was even going to make one colorful instead of black and white. To be all artsy.

Imagine my dismay when I finished one plate and realized that since it’s an appliqued piece, machine quilting with it on the bottom would prove to be difficult, as the blocks do not lie flat.


I still determined to put this one in, though, and just got out my white fabric to piece together the back and get quilting this thing.

Boo again. My two different swaths of white fabric were not matching fabrics. Not even close. One was chintzy wrinkly Kona (no offense, Kona! I still use you!) and one was a luxurious beautifully draping white.

I had committed to scraping together $18 to buy more Kona white for the backing when JB tells me with excitement that I should do a black and white back on it. I have asked him to sketch his vision for me so I can see if it’ll work. Until then, this pretty little dresden plate is sitting in my sewing room, cheering me up and frustrating me at the same time. It makes me happy to look at it, but also aggravated that I still haven’t begun quilting Izzy’s quilt!

  • I’m going to do a Dresden plate….Just haven’t decided on my fabrics yet. I think yours turned out really swell!

    Those books sound good. My hubby loves fantasy. I’ll have to tell him about it. I like the guy’s new haircut. :-)

  • Dresden plate is one of my all time favorite quilt patterns! I made six chair pads each with a Dresden plate for my kitchen table chairs many years ago.

  • yay for your dresden! it’s just gorgeous. i can’t wait to see where this quilt goes. it’s gonna be fun to watch from the sidelines.

    ps how cool is it that you are writing a book??? you are gonna do awesome at that. go, april, go! i definitely need a copy. your writing is charming and witty and wonderful. just like you!

  • I always enjoy the fabrics you choose to go into your quilts, you put the colors and patterns together so well. This Dresden block is no exception, I’m sure it will be beautiful. You know, Kurt Vonnegut described the City of Dresden, before it was bombed during the war, like Oz in Slaughterhouse 5. Yet another Fantasy book connection in a different context, good luck.